What began as a small art association?originally assembled to organize an exhibit of local art?eventually blossomed into a full-scale museum as its art collection grew. Today, works by world-renowned artists share space with masterpieces by Mississippians in a museum committed to making the visual arts more accessible for the community at large.?
The Building: After decades in its original location, the museum was moved to a new space in 2007. A transparent door and entryway enables outsiders to see the visitors inside the space, a play on the museum's mission to make it a "museum without walls."
Permanent Mainstay: The Mississippi Story celebrates art by Mississippians and includes photos by Eudora Welty, 280 works by William Hollingsworth, and a collection of 77 quilts.
Don't Miss: 19th-century portraits by British artists Thomas Lawrence and Thomas Sully; works by master artists Picasso, Mir?, Chagall, and Rembrandt; as well as a collection of pre-Columbian artifacts.
In the Open Air: Outside the museum, take a stroll through the Art Garden, more than an acre of green space peppered with outdoor art installations and a performance stage.
Past Exhibits: Spacious Skies featured 14 painted or drawn landscapes culled from the permanent collections of such artists as John Sloan, Will Henry Rivers, Elaine Galen, as well as the museum's first painting, William P. Silva's The Shower.
Pro Tip: At the monthly workshop Look and Learn with Hoot, kids develop the skills for art literacy through an art activity and story time.
Special Programs: Almost 30 affiliate museums throughout the state regularly feature artwork from the museum's permanent collection.
The state-of-the-art equipment, convenient amenities, and variety of exercise classes at Courthouse Racquet & Fitness's six locations earned the club several of Jackson Free Press's Urban Living awards in 2011 and 2012, including Best Fitness Center/Gym and Best Yoga Instructor. Visit the flagship Lakeland location to swim in a pool of professional athletic proportions. Explore the 13,000-square-foot Madison 51 facility's yoga, spin, and boot-camp classes or the Northeast center's indoor and outdoor tennis courts.
The newest location in Brandon boasts more than 100 treadmills, elliptical machines, rowers, and other pieces of cardio equipment. Women can take advantage of the Downtown site's ladies-only cardio area. Three locations offer childcare, and the Byram facility has launched an afterschool program, where kids can do arts and crafts and engage in healthy physical activities in an environment devoid of teddy-bear drill instructors.
More than 200 species swim through the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, and that's just the facility's aquatic residents. Beyond the aquarium network sprawls an abundance of plant and animal life both indoors and out. A trip through the museum campus reveals Mississippi's diverse ecosystems, as well as their relationship to humans.
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Crunching metal and the sweet smell of burning rubber prevail as the Monster X Tour invades the Ocean Center, thrilling all ages in an action-packed motorsports showcase. Bigfoot, the forefather of all station-wagon smashers, leads a fleet of competitive 10,000-pound monster trucks, including Bear Foot and Black Knight, through jaw-dropping races, wheelie contests, and freestyle car composting. Transaurus, a two-story transforming robot that never learned to love, buries his woes by chomping entire cars in his massive jaws while watching reruns of Felicity. Before the show, VIP tickets also grant access to the Pit Party, where fans can have autographs signed by the drivers. During intermission, fans get the opportunity to eschew sea level with a ride inside a monster truck or visit General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard and learn its true feelings about excessive hood sliding.